While the game’s superstars were competing in the USPGA, unknown Stephan Jaeger was creating history with a 58 on the Web.com Tour 3,000 miles away
While golf’s superstars were contesting the USPGA at Baltusrol on Thursday, nearly 3,000 miles due west one man was creating a little bit of history that would steal just a few of the headlines away from the year’s fourth and final Major.
As Rory misfired badly in New Jersey, unknown and largely unheralded German, Stephan Jaeger, went on a record-breaking birdie rampage in the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae in California on the Web.com Tour to record the first ever 58 on one of the PGA Tour’s three main tours.
Starting on the back nine, the German, who ranked 102nd on the Web.com Tour coming into the week, raced to the turn in 29 courtesy of six birdies and no dropped shots, a feat he repeated on the front nine, even throwing in a three-putt par on the par-5 3rd before slotting home a 10-footer on the par-5 9th to create history.
Five players have shot 59 previously on the Web.com Tour, including Scotland’s Russell Knox in 2013, while several have shot 59 on the PGA Tour and a number of golf’s other main tours. That mark has still eluded everybody on the European Tour, though, where the record stands at 60, a figure officially achieved 18 times, with this year’s Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke the only man to do it twice.
Jaeger, a psychology graduate from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, originally hails from Munich. He turned pro in 2012 and finished 86th on last year’s Web.com Tour Money List, but thus far this year had missed three of ten cuts and recorded a best finish of T11th in June’s Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.
“I don’t know what to say, I mean everything went well,” said Jaeger after his round, perfecting the art of understatement. “I was driving the ball well, making everything, got the good breaks. I mean, 58 – you can’t say anything! I three-putted one hole – that’s all you can say about it. But other than that, everything went my way. Even the bad shots, you’d get a good bounce and have 15 feet, and I’d make that. It was just a black-out round, it really was.”
For those fearing a kind of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’ reaction on Friday, Jaeger did bogey his first hole, but then crammed in six more birdies to shoot 65 and head into the weekend on 17-under (five clear as this article went live) in the quest to secure his first Web.com Tour victory.